What is rosacea and which natural ingredients can be used as a treatment?
Rosacea is a common skin disorder primarily characterized by cutaneous hypersensitivity (1) and by the presence of chronic skin inflammation (2). It is a cutaneous problem generally affecting the central area of the face (cheeks, chin, nose, forehead), and the presence of the following visible signs in this region of the face is typically indicative of this disorder: flushing, erythema, telangiectasia, edema, papules, pustules, ocular lesions (3). Patients can be affected by one or a combination of these diagnostic signs that are commonly transient, can occur independently, and are often associated with collateral symptoms like burning and stining, plaques, skin dryness, ocular or peripheral manifestations (3). Affections to the eyes occur in about 50% of patients with rosacea, and even though the signs of rosacea predominantly appear on the face, the can also affect other areas of the body (4).
According to recent estimations (2011), rosacea affects about 14 million people in the United States (1), while an epidemiologic study in Sweden (2003) showed that its prevalence was 10% (5). It appears to be more frequently observed in fairskinned individuals of European and Celtic origin, although it has also been disagnosed in Asian and African American subjects (1). This chronic disorder affects both men and women, typically beginning after age 30 (6).
Rosacea has an high incidence on the population but the definition of this inflammatory disease is still not well established, therefore the disgnosis of rosacea is often applied to subjects with a diverse set of clinical findings that may or may not belong to this patology (3). An altered innate immune response appears to be a trigger of the vascular and inflammatory disease in patients affected by rosacea, as emerged from recent molecular studies (2). This breakthrough finding can benefit the research for more effective treatments for this cutaneous problem and the assessment of currently available treatments.
There are many therapeutic treatments to imporve the appearance of rosacea, but none seems to provide a definitive cure to this problem (1). Beacuse of the inconsistency and non-definitive results achieved through standard prescription medications, several patients are starting to opt for natural, botanical-based treatments (1) that ease inflammation and reduce the redness of the affected areas, can prevent the side effects of traditional medications or foster their effectiveness. Natural and botanical ingredients are used since centuries as remedies for common skin problems, but there is a lack of scientific literature around this topic – mostly because medicinal botanicals used in cosmeceuticals are considered food additives or dietary supplements by the US Food and Drug Administration (1). In Europe there is a lack of skin care brands that are natural-based and supported by clinical trials - this is where Biomed positions itself, in order to offer a safer, clinically proven alternative for common skin diseases such as rosacea.
Among the natural extracts and active ingredients that provenly reduce the symptoms of rosacea, the following are the most common:
CM-Naringenin-Chalcone: a high performance, clinically tested active that naturally occurs in the peel of citrus fruits. It has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce redness and inflammation
Colloidal Oatmeal: oats have antioxidant, UV-absorbent, and anti-inflammatory properties attributed to the ferulic, caffeic, coumaric acids, flavonoids and tocopherol (vitamin E)
Licorice extract: Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra and Glycyrrhiza inflata) plants contain glabridin and licochalcone A, both of which have anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to several studies, licorice reduces inflammation, promotes mucous secretion, soothes irritation, and appears to have an antiviral and antimicrobial function by regulating cytokines (among the causes of rosacea)
Teas: (Camellia sinensis) contains potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic polyphenols. Green tea also protects from UV light and decreases UV-induced erythema, making it a great ingredient to treat rosacea as it is often triggered by light exposure
Aloe vera: known for its natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-pruritic, and healing properties. Studies on the treatment of psoriasis demonstrated positive results, with participants reporting a reduction in burning, itching, and scarring. Tests also demonstrated a decrease in vasodilation and vascular permeability, suggesting a beneficial role in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea
Chamomile:(Matricaria recutita and Chamaemelum nobile) contains terpenoids and flavonoids. The topical application has shown to reduce dermatitis and skin irritation (1)
(1) Emer, J., Waldorf, H., & Berson, D. (2011, September) Botanicalsand anti-inflammatories: natural ingredients for rosacea. In Seminarsin cutaneous medicine and surgery (Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 148-155)
(2) Yamasaki, K., & Gallo, R. L. (2009) The molecular pathology ofrosacea. Journal of dermatological science, 55(2), 77-81
(3) Wilkin, J., Dahl, M., Detmar, M., Drake, L., Feinstein, A., Odom, R.,& Powell, F. (2002) Standard classification of rosacea: report ofthe National Rosacea Society Expert Committee on the Classificationand Staging of Rosacea. Journal of the American Academy ofDermatology, 46(4), 584-587
(4) Berg, M. A. T. S., & Liden, S. T. U. R. E. (1989) Anepidemiological study of rosacea. Acta Derm Venereol, 69(5), 419-423
(5) Gessert, C.E., Bamford, J.T.M. (2003) Measuring the severity ofrosacea: a review. Int J Dermatol, 42:444
(6) Henderson, C.A., Charles-Holmes, S., McSween, R., Ilchyshyn, A.(1995) A system for grading rosacea severity. Br J Dermatol, 133(Suppl):34